Happy Birthday to Me, I Mean Her
My mother always says that a kid’s birthday party is the worst day of the year, and it’s kind of true. It’s not just the expectations of your child, it’s the sheer logistics of invites, venues, entertainment, loot bags and cake. And then all those presents afterwards. And the expense!
My friends and I laugh because we always spend way more on our kids’ birthday parties then we do on ourselves. And as I am sitting adding up the bills from my daughter's fourth birthday party it is a bit staggering (no I’m not telling you how much but more than a pair of jeans and less then a weekend away). We rented a play place with a friend and then split the party down the middle but it still adds up. But even our most extravagant parties (i.e. those for our first born before we knew better) were anywhere near as ridiculous as this First Birthday party in the upcoming CBC Documentary “Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids”.
These parents think nothing of spending…
Seven thousand dollars on a first birthday party! It’s not like the child has done anything beyond changing from a slug into a mini-person. Brandie Weikle over at Parentcentral.ca first posted this video and surprisingly, many of the comments are FOR the four-figure birthday party.
We have found that as the kids get older their parties downsize – only in actual size though, not in aggravation. Last year, we had a sleepover party at home for my 9-year old which involved movies, Wii tournaments and at least 4 pounds of bacon for nine kids. We paid in hours for that one, not dollars.
And no matter how big or how small, the important part of any party we do is the cake. Somewhere along the line my husband and I fell into a habit of baking and decorating a cake according to our birthday child’s desires. I bake and my husband decorates and constructs. Turns out being totally anal, is also a fabulous trait for cake decorating.
And so this whole post is really just an excuse to put up a picture of our most recent effort because it is a good one. Yes, the jellybeans took a while – enough time to watch The Colbert Report and part of South Park (and yes, I did the messy side). And the birthday girl LOVED the cake, she said it was the best part of the party. Not that means that we could have skipped the whole thing… right?
But what is it about birthday parties so that they become larger than life? What would drive parents to spend thousands on a couple of hours? What would motivate us to stay up until 1 a.m. decorating a cake that our four-year old won’t remember? Because birthday parties are about our child? Or is it because they are about us the parents?